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Land has moved to the centre of political discourse in recent months. At the same time, allegations of state capture by the Gupta family have created a storm of controversy and placed the presidency under immense pressure.

BICAS International Conference New Extractivism, Peasantries and Social Dynamics: Critical Perspectives and Debates

Fourth conference, Moscow, 13-16 October 2017

Colonialism brought large-scale farming to Africa, promising modernisation and jobs – but often dispossessing people and exploiting workers. Now, after several decades of independence, and with investor interest growing, African governments are once again promoting large plantations and estates.

If there’s one thing we are both passionate about, it’s land. Not that we want it ourselves. Rather, as scholar-activists, we’re both convinced that in South Africa, given our history, land reform is essential and must succeed in redistributing land from white to black farmers, families and communities.

The tide of history flowed on a farm in Msinga on the Monday before Human Rights Day, lifting the spirits of the people of Ncunjane as they took possession of a title deed that stated incontrovertibly that the future was now theirs. “Broken-hearted people,” said one speaker at the ceremony, “have reason to rejoice”.

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